Wednesday, January 26, 2011

of checklists and project management...

Michele picked up a copy of Atul Gawande's recent book (The Checklist Manifesto) on our flight back from Nevada. I read it cover to cover on the second haul from Dallas to Boston. Also spotted the 2011 superbowl stadium from the plane, although you could probably also see it from space, but I digress...

Anyway long story short, I'm not a big fan of project management.

There I said it.

I know it is not a popular thing to say.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

vanity publication: why we have to take our faculty to the clouds

these opinions as always are mine, they do not 
in anyway represent any affiliated .edu official policies

We (well my awesome team) spin up and manage many 100's of virtual machines in our day jobs dedicated to "websites". Many of the instances we end up managing start off with this rather simple looking question:

From: faculty member @ dot edu
Subject: web site

Dear research computing,

We have a very important set of research data that we wish to publish on the web. Would you be able to install a "virtual machine" with drupal, php and ssh access to the world that mounts our 200TB storage array to display our data?


p.s if we could have world accessible FTP access to the data that would be awesome!

Prof. Famous.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

clouding a dataverse on an aws t1.micro

My Research Computing team have recently been collaborating with Prof. Gary King and his researchers at IQSS to stand up a dataverse on our large KVM/GFS 72 core 300TB cluster. Team RC did a great job getting dataverse up and running. Non trivial installation, there are awesome installation instructions over at so installation was easy and fast.

I decided it might also be fun to push this "to the cloud!" :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

how openstack stacks up: private cloud on top of cloud action

There is a *lot* of documentation for nova/openstack etc out there, took me a while to realize that there is actually a rather simple way to install this. I decided to take on something I've been meaning to do for a while and pull down a UEC image directly from and see if I can boot it directly from a local ubuntu KVM instance, this one is fairly unique, so was certainly worth writing up.

Cloud meets cloud on top of cloud so to speak!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

many s3 disk log files

Be careful with those there s3 logs kids!

You can end up with a whole lot of stuff that you can't delete from the GUI (yeah and before you say real men don't use GUIs... I was all EBS and had no idea S3 existed on this account). I also did not know my bucket got set up accidentally with the log option, and it was rather busy after only a month or so!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


So the "tweet" started:

" ok so that's that! today's news means this season we will be mainly tracking and "

For those of you out of the know, the tweet was a reflection that Bryon, Andreas and Peter are all going to be part of team whamcloud by the end of January:


So just quickly, I could not resist poking at the code. You can set up your ssh keys after visiting whamcloud's Gerrit servers:

Full Name James Cuff
Registered Jan 4, 2011 9:59 PM

[any opinions here are all mine, and have absolutely nothing to do with my employer]
(c) 2011 James Cuff